Marijuana ad pulled from NASCAR race

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Marijuana ad pulled from NASCAR race

An ad by The Marijuana Policy Project that was supposed to air outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 over the weekend on a huge billboard at the entrance to the raceway was pulled off on Friday after being

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - Marijuana ad pulled from NASCAR race

An ad by The Marijuana Policy Project that was supposed to air outside the NASCAR Brickyard 400 over the weekend on a huge billboard at the entrance to the raceway was pulled off on Friday after being displayed only a few times. Grazie Media, the company that owns the billboard had approved the content of the advertisement and accepted payment for it, but on Friday Vanessa Wojtala, the director of programming at Grazie Media, said that they would in no way, form or shape promote the use of illegal drugs.

The ad promoted the use of marijuana and pointed out the advantages over beer, concluding "Marijuana: Less harmful than alcohol and time to treat it that way" and The Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. had complained about it. Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs said that the claims in the ad are wrong and that it was irresponsible marketing for a drug in a state where marijuana is illegal. 19 states have legalized marijuana, but Indiana is none of them.

In 2012, three Hoosier senators introduced bills or resolutions regarding a loosening of marijuana restrictions, but none had gained any traction.

Mason Tvert, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project said that they wanted to make people think about the hypocrisy and absurdity of laws that ban the safer alternative to the most widely available drug alcohol. He added that they were baffled about Grazie Media's claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, a drug known to be tied to violent behavior.

Tvert continued, "If the Save Our Society From Drugs really wanted to save our society from drugs, why would they prevent people from learning about the toxicity of alcohol and the safety of marijuana? This organization is obviously more concerned about maintaining the ban of marijuana than it is about caring for public health and safety. It is sad to see Grazie Media abandon an agreement with a paying client when confronted with such nonsense."

But the ad is not just pro-marijuana, but it also has an anti-alcohol message. The major sponsor at this Brickyard 400's is Crown Royal Whisky and another one is Miller Lite Beer.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp and IMS President Doug Boles refused any connection of the track and race with the advertisement.

The Gracie Media spokesman said that Tvert got the publicity he wanted and that they would "probably" refund his $2200.

Watch the ad here: